Job Skills to List on Your Resume (And What to Exclude)

 Striving to maximize your career options this year? Showcasing your capabilities is critical to professional success, especially during a job search. The first step of almost every job application process is to submit a resume. With so much riding on that first impression, reflecting desired job skills in your resume is key. Here are some in-demand skills to list on your resume.


  • Self-starter.
  • Adaptability.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Growth mindset.
  • Time management.
  • Virtual communication skills.
  • Succinct writing.
  • Impact.
  • Collaboration.
  • Deadline-driven.
  • Ability to thrive in chaotic environments.
  • Analysis and insight.
  • Accountability.
  • Trustworthiness.
  • Investment.
  • What to exclude from your resume.


Capture how you have identified and acted on opportunities to improve quality or speed, boost morale, increase productivity or minimize risks.


Have you been able to stay productive during continuous change? A key soft skill to show in your resume is your ability to adapt and thrive. Describe how you evolved your way of working during periods of change.

Problem-Solving Skills

Rapidly changing technology and evolving work environments have led many teams and companies into unchartered territories. Professionals that have an ability to solve problems in new or difficult situations are better equipped to tackle future challenges that may not have a best practice or rule book to follow. Outline how you approached and resolved problems.

Growth Mindset

How have you challenged yourself or motivated others around you to learn something new or expand your thinking? The ability to learn is a learned skill in itself that improves the more you do it. It is why recent students are often better equipped to acquire and apply knowledge more quickly than peers who have not been in a learning environment recently. Capture how you have added new hard skills and sought to challenge yourself with new approaches.

Time Management

Balancing never-ending emails, Slack messages, Zoom meetings, and projects is tricky. Managers want to be able to gauge productivity. Be sure to capture how you manage time, efficiency, and results when writing your resume.

Virtual Communication Skills

It is challenging to build effective relationships without in-person interaction. Show evidence of how you have expanded or strengthened relationships in and outside of your company using virtual communication tools. This can be as simple as listing the digital tools you use – such as Teams, Slack, and Zoom. You can also write more descriptive impact statements. For example, explain how you created an online presentation template implemented by the sales team which resulted in 10 new deals. You can also explain how you increased engagement in virtual all-hands meetings by creating polls and encouraging the use of Q&A features.

Succinct Writing

With the rise in video meetings and enterprise messaging tools came the rise in Q&A and chat responses. Success with these platforms requires mastery of the art of getting to the point – succinct and well-written questions and responses are key. How you write your resume (and cover letter) is evidence of this competency. Don't overlook the importance of concise and relevant content in your resume.


An effective resume shows – not tell – how you add value. Yes, you need to list your responsibilities, but you also need to show what happened because you were there. In other words, call out your impact. For example, if you are responsible for recruiting and hiring and you would say it is one of your key strengths, including how many people you hired, how quickly you made those hires, and how many of your hires have outlasted the average tenure of your firm or your industry.


Every job description asks for "cross-functional collaboration." This means you need to know how to play well in the sandbox with other people who aren't your immediate co-workers. To illustrate your collegial approach, describe any "enterprise-wide taskforces" you were invited to join. For example, communicate how your team was able to move through the financial planning and analysis approval process two times faster than other managers because of your track record of quality work. In short, show what was accomplished when you partnered across the company.


In a competitive, technology-infused environment, even results with a 24-hour turnaround can seem 25 hours past due. The most productive employees get stuff done fast and have tactics for setting and exceeding deadline-driven expectations. Give evidence of your ability to work under pressure.

Ability to Thrive in Chaotic Environments

When speed is king, many organizations act before all options are assessed. Employees who can survive and even thrive in cultures where priorities shift, variables change and goals are moving targets are in greater demand than those looking for stable and fixed roles. Most growing companies are in flux and they want employees who can function even without a fully developed structure.

Analysis and Insights

No role or industry is untouched by data and analysis. If you are a doctor, you likely keep tabs on satisfaction ratings or statistics and information about the patients you treat. Are you a delivery driver? You may have data that tracks your routes, delivery times, number of deliveries made, and lost or damaged packages. Know the quantifiable metrics for your profession and address what those indicators show about you. Including analytical hard skills on your resume gives you a competitive advantage.


The best teams are known for how the members take ownership of the work and the results. Describe which aspects of your department you are accountable for and how you maintain a high level of quality.


On the heels of the Great Resignation and candidate ghosting during the interview, hiring and onboarding processes, many employers are targeting candidates that show signs of trustworthiness and dependability. Some ways to show this in your resume is to show a progression of responsibility with one employer or that you have worked with one manager or team in more than one setting. Additionally, include how you are a self-starter and are able to lead initiatives, projects, or teams even when you may not be the official manager.


Use your resume as an opportunity to show your commitment and professional passion to your career, industry, profession, and/or your skill development. Employees that are invested in these areas often perform at the highest levels because their efforts are not just for a paycheck but also to contribute to their larger community or reputation. Your resume should show memberships in a professional association, participation in an industry conference, noted thought leadership on related topics, classes you have taken, and more.

What to Exclude From Your Resume

Your home address. It is not needed at the time of application and it can have some privacy or discrimination risks.

Titles to contact information. For example, instead of "Phone: 555-123-4567" you can just list the number "555-123-4567." It will be recognized for what it is.

Years of experience. First, job posts never ask for "two decades of managerial experience," so writing that as the lead in your summary earns you no points for applicant tracking systems or with the recruiter. And second, a reader can add up your years of experience (or make a pretty good guess) with your work history listed on your resume. Why give up your most valuable resume real estate to words that add no value to your candidacy?

Subjective or adjective-heavy soft skills. For example: Don't use phrases such as "people person," "meticulous attention to detail" or "team player." Recruiters and hiring authorities see hundreds of resumes. Subjective descriptions do not add any value. Hiring professionals have seen or met enough detail-oriented people who leave periods off sentences and forget to check the spelling. If you cannot demonstrate or validate that you have a soft skill, it doesn't help your candidacy.

Discerning hiring managers are looking for candidates who can walk in with the skills to do the job immediately. Make sure your resume reflects the qualifications and skills most in-demand for the role you are targeting. A customized, well-written resume is a critical component of a successful modern job search.

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